Twenty-six-year-old Esther Stone was slain in 1983.
’83 killing haunts family
Police still search for answers decades after a woman was gunned down at a gas station
James Stone trembled with a grief more than two decades old as he described the last conversation he had with his wife.
Early in the evening of Oct. 4, 1983, his wife, Esther, asked him at their Haleiwa home to gas up the car, but he said the car did not need gas.
"I was watching TV and didn't want to put gas because I was watching something," said Stone, lowering his eyes. "So she decided to get gas not in Haleiwa, but in Pearl City after work."
The 26-year-old wife, who worked in Pearl City as a waitress, was filling the car up with gasoline at the 7-Eleven on 897 Kamehameha Highway at about 1:40 a.m. Oct. 6, 1983.
Police said the manager was cleaning up outside the store when he heard a single gunshot. He turned to find Esther Stone on the ground, bleeding from her upper right torso. The manager, the only witness at the scene, did not see the shooter or where the shot came from.
Esther Stone, the mother of three children, died at the scene.
Police believe the shot might have come from a high-powered rifle in a moving vehicle, but investigators were never able to retrieve a bullet.
"We have nothing on this case," said police Sgt. Kim Buffett. "After 20-something years, someone might remember something. ... Hopefully this time they'll recognize something and they'll call us."
Esther was driving a blue 1977 Datsun at the time of the killing. Police have identified no suspects, and James Stone does not know of anyone who would have a motive.
Stone, 53, said he still lives with grief, and calls police every year to check on the status of the case.
"On our anniversary, her birthday, the anniversary of her death," Stone said, "I just relive it."
Julie Deguair said she is still haunted by the day her mother died. Deguair thought her father was joking when he delivered the news to her and her two brothers. She was 8 years old.
"I thought that was his way of waking us up, and I thought the next day my mom would be home," she said.
Deguair, now 33, said she hopes the killer will come forward. Stone said he would be willing to forgive the killer.
"I'm hoping it's not someone who really could (not) care less," Deguair said of the killer. "Small things you do, it has a ripple effect. And something as tremendous as this, I don't even know that they realize what effects it has had in the long term."
HOW TO HELP
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone. A cash reward of up to $1,000 will be given for information that leads to an arrest.